Tim Higham

Registered with Property118.com
Monday 30th January 2017

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 2

Tim Higham

21:44 PM, 31st January 2017, About 5 years ago

Conveyancing - Are things so much better than they used to be?

I can list 100 things where a conveyancer can go wrong - we witness many every day when we see incoming post - when handling the legal work for someone buying or selling a property.

It is such a complicated area of law when tasked with spotting all possible errors in the legal papers - especially on new build or leasehold property transactions - when buying a property, and also on a sale too (as the deal can abort if you have a lawyer who does not know how to tackle any issue or search result that comes up and they grind the deal to a halt and people then get cold feet and walk away, and buy something else.

Yet it is one of the cheapest area of law to employ a lawyer for (always fixed fee too) - weeks and weeks of work for less than an average fee of l£1000........and yet the lawyer carries huge risk if they make the slightest mistake, £000ks worth of damages if they fail to spot:
- too short a lease
- no legal access to the property
- no legal title to a sliver of land on which part of the property is built or drains run
- no Council consents for the recent building work
- a lease which fails to grant a parking space that it should have
....that list can go on and on too.

The sting comes when trying to sell, or months or years into owning when you get a knock on the door from someone who has found the mistake and wants to take action against you.

Just be very careful if you go cheap because you think all conveyancers are the same, or you think it is a simple area of law.

If you do not get a conveyancer who has a law degree or who does not target a maximum 4 weeks to an exchange, you need to ask why.... Read More

Tim Higham

22:17 PM, 30th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Conveyancing - Are things so much better than they used to be?

The reasons for a sale to result in delay are many (most reasons apply equally to purchases too):

1. Sellers don’t think to instruct their conveyancing solicitor when they first put the property on the market. We will not charge more at **MODERATED OUT - NOT A SPONSOR** so get in their early so your solicitor has time to lay the groundwork (i.e obtain title deeds, a mortgage repayment statement (a management pack from your landlord/Housing Association if Leasehold) and generally to check for obvious legal defects by the lawyer you used first time around. Instead, if you leave it too late, yourconveyancer will be on the back foot, and will overlook things in the rush to make up lost time they could have had.
2. Sellers never ever ask when seeking a conveyancing quote whether the person handling their legal work has a law degree….people assume that a solicitor office has only solicitors. Not a single one in an office of Legal Executives nor perhaps a Licensed Conveyancers'. So instead, you assume you have an expert acting for you, but in fact they could be quite junior, recruited on the cheap to maximise profit for the legal business, and you are none the wiser…as you did not make sure you have an actual Solicitor acting for you

3. The Estate Agent, in fact, your Estate Agent might be accepting cash from the most mediocre of conveyancing businesses, if they recommend your buyer to them. Do you even know your own estate agent may be sabotaging your sale by getting a cash bung from a shoddy conveyancer? I would be furious. The cash goes in the pocket of the estate agent. The legal outfit who pays most, whatever their quality, gets the business. And to heck with the speed of your sale.

4. The Estate Agent may own, or be owned by the conveyancers they recommend to you - not good convincers, but because they are obliged to push them on you, and who will have a very poor reputation generally. No legally qualified conveyancers anywhere in the building. Do you know if this is happening to you?

5. The quality of conveyancers ranges dramatically, it is a fact, so you cannot think they are all the same….you may have one who falls into the below categories:
a. Many charge so little, meaning they have to look after 100 clients at any given time, so can barely spend 5 minutes on your file every 72 hours or longer.
b. Also, always ask why a conveyancer charges so little. Good ones don’t have to be cheap. And the cheaper they are, why would they go out of their way to be dynamic, and excel in their performance in your dale, what motivation would they have. A proper fee and you have their right ear.
c. Many are not qualified as mentioned above, and so they do not always understand issues that crop up and will not be able to speedily resolve them.
d. Being overworked means they are more likely to send letters than email to buy themselves time to cope. We have a ban on letters going out if there are no enclosures….always an email. Instant (and saves 60p a time too)
e. Small conveyancing teams mean poor cover for illness or holiday. Check how big they are as a Team. Too massive, and you are just a number, and they are trading on volume.
f. Check for lunch time closing or dead on 5pm…. I consider that can be a sign of mediocre
g. Check their website and see if their conveyancers are ALL identified, with direct telephone number and personal email address…including all their secretaries. If not, avoid! You will struggle to reach them.
h. Does the conveyancing firm have any email addresses on their letterheads, or direct dial numbers? No? Avoid.
i. When the lawyers quote for the work by email, how prompt are they? Slow….avoid.
j. Open Saturdays and Sundays usually smacks of volume and marketing hype to attract work as it it isn’t coming in normally. Conveyancers do not transact at weekends, so don’t be fooled by this advertising.

Just some tips, hope that helps anyone - as the better conveyancers want to transact with good conveyancers, as it makes the transaction go through at pace.

We now target a maximum 4 weeks to exchange in all transactions. We have had enough of facing slow conveyancing. You get your house exchanged, estate agents get paid, and we do not waste anywhere as much time chasing slow conveyancers.... Read More